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Nurses Call on California Board to Adopt Strong Standards to Stem Hospital Workplace Violence

California Nurses Association Press Release, 2/20/14

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The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United will step up the call today for tougher state standards to stem a growing problem of workplace violence in California hospitals.
 
At a Sacramento hearing this morning before the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, CNA RNs will describe how too many hospitals have lax standards and protocols for responding to workplace violence. The hearing was set for this morning at the State Resources Building Auditorium.
 
“It’s time for California to crack down on an alarming surge of workplace violence incidents in hospitals that puts patients, their families, nurses, and other staff at serious risk,” said CNA Legislative Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “Far too many hospitals have abandoned their obligation to ensure safety for their patients and their staff. That must end.”
 
CNA will present a petition calling for the Board to adopt regulations requiring hospitals to establish comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans, and whistleblower protection against hospital retaliation for nurses and other employees who seek law enforcement intervention.
 
CNA last year sponsored major legislation on stepping up hospital responsibilities to enact prevention to reduce workplace violence and improved reporting requirements. The bill stalled due to major hospital industry opposition, but CNA plans to reintroduce a bill soon.
 
In addition to the bill, say nurses, the Cal OSHA Board should adopt its own tough language.
 
The petition says new standards should ensure that all hospitals set in place workplace violence prevention plans that include personnel education and training, a system for responding to and investigating violent incidents and situations involving the risk of violence, and improving factors that would help prevent incidents, including inadequate security systems, security personnel, and unsafe staffing.
 
Other provisions of a comprehensive state regulatory plan should include improved documentation and reporting of incidents of violence, a zero tolerance for retaliation against employees, and strong reporting requirements with specific timelines.

 

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